Suprise! Democrats Not Going To Conference On Health Care Bill–UPDATED

Wow, the Democrats really want this bill at all costs. They’re going to get it. From The New Republic:

Now that both the House and Senate have passed health care reform bills, all Democrats have to do is work out a compromise between the two versions. And it appears they’re not about to let the Republicans gum up the works again.

According to a pair of senior Capitol Hill staffers, one from each chamber, House and Senate Democrats are “almost certain” to negotiate informally rather than convene a formal conference committee. Doing so would allow Democrats to avoid a series of procedural steps–not least among them, a series of special motions in the Senate, each requiring a vote with full debate–that Republicans could use to stall deliberations, just as they did in November and December.

“There will almost certainly be full negotiations but no formal conference,” the House staffer says. “There are too many procedural hurdles to go the formal conference route in the Senate.”

So what this means is that the bill will be another backroom deal with a couple whispering Democrats ironing out the soul-killing details. Philip Klein thinks that some form of public talk will have to happen:

While this may very well be the current line of thinking among Democrats, I’m not convinced this is how things will play out. It’s important to keep in mind that it won’t just be Republicans who are clamoring for conference committee, but a lot of liberals, too. Many on the left begrudgingly expressed support for passing the Senate bill in the hopes that they could make one last stand during conference talks, and I think Democrats may have to give them that oppourtunity, if nothing else but for show.

Nope. The show is over. The Democrats generally don’t want a show. They want this done. They don’t want the hard left who is paying attention to interfere, either. Via Firedoglake: “The differences on the health bill will be hard to reconcile,” Waxman said to about 175 people at the Pacific Palisades Democratic Club. “But that’s our job.”

This bill will pass.


Ed Morrissey has more hope than I do. He says,”Nelson may be looking for an excuse to rescue himself and block the bill anyway.” and continues:

Given the bill’s increasing unpopularity, it doesn’t surprise that Democrats want to hide themselves while trying to get it out of Congress. However, that kind of approach will not build support for ObamaCare. It will undermine whatever support it has left except as a purely partisan exercise – which explains why its support among likely voters closely mirrors the percentage of Democrats among that sample.

Passing the health care bill is a matter of principle. This is a matter of displaying some Democrat muscle. The Democrats fear looking weak more than they fear enraging the American public. They believe that they will win over the long term. They believe they know what is best for everyone and once people get with the program, they’ll come around. People just don’t know what’s good for them.

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